Omnicom Strikes $230 Million Two-Year Mobile Deal With Twitter

Agency Company Will Get First Look at New Mobile Ads, Locked-in Rates

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Omnicom is digging its heels deeper into social media on mobile, announcing a two-year, $230 million deal to integrate Omnicom Media Group's programmatic advertising arm, Accuen, with Twitter's mobile exchange, MoPub.

The holding company will receive inventory access, locked-in ad rates and a "first look" at mobile-ad units created by Twitter.

"Our agreement with Twitter reflects what we look for in a media partnership -- the opportunity to deliver first-to-market benefits that impact all aspects of all Omnicom clients' digital investments, from content to placement to measurement," Omnicom said in a statement confirming a report in The Wall Street Journal.

In March, Omnicom signed a year-long deal for $100 million with Instagram, the photo- and video-sharing mobile platform owned by Facebook.

While holding company deals with social-media companies seem to be getting announced at a faster and faster clip -- see Omnicom's Instagram pact; the Publicis Groupe's even more recent multi-year deal with Facebook, worth roughly $500 million; and Twitter's deals last year with Starcom MediaVest Group and WPP -- this one appears to be unique in that it specifies a dollar amount over a period of time.

Unlike the partnership with Instagram, which only connects with select few brands, the Twitter deal offers Omnicom a wider reach and ability to target consumers on mobile devices based on detailed data.

"MoPub brings scale, and they bring the ability to leverage targeting based on demographics," said Jonathan Schaaf, Omnicom Media Group's president of U.S. digital investments. "It allows us to extend our marketing messages to consumers who have shown interest in the past, deeper than just the Twitter feed."

It appears to be the first agency holding company deal with a social media platform that's focused on securing mobile using programmatic ad tech.

Twitter acquired MoPub, an exchange that lets advertisers buy mobile ads in real time, last September in an all-stock deal. While Twitter's own inventory can't yet be bought programatically, the company has started making moves to integrate its ad technology and MoPub's. For instance, last month it starting letting its own advertisers buy mobile app-install ads and app-engagement ads on the thousands of apps within MoPub's exchange.

MoPub also serves as a mediator for Facebook's recently introduced mobile ad network.

Twitter's recent growth has come largely from mobile. More than 90% of its revenue came from advertising in the first quarter of 2014, and 80% percent of that ad revenue came from mobile, up from 75% in the previous quarter.

Yet the company's stock has taken a battering of late after an employee stock lock-up expired and amid lingering concerns about its slowing user growth in the U.S. Today the stock is down to $30.75 from its opening stock price in early November of $45.10, though still above its IPO price of $26.

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